Many COFEPOW members may already be aware of a Facebook group that we have set up with the aim of providing an online digital memorial to Far East prisoners of war - in effect, a photo album - as a tribute to those who suffered and sacrificed so much in appalling conditions in camps across South East Asia in World War II. As we know, a great many FEPOWs lost their lives in captivity, and those who did survive were scarred both mentally and physically. We hope to provide a fitting tribute to them and are hoping that more of those with relatives who were held as Far East prisoners of war will help us.
For those not already aware, the VJ Day FEPOW’s Gallery group is hoping to collect 1000 photos of Far East prisoners of war, both service personnel and civilian internees, which will be presented as a collage in memory of them – one thousand to represent the many thousands held captive overall. We have already collected over five hundred photos, submitted by proud sons, daughters, grandchildren or family friends. But, with the anniversary of VJ Day fast approaching, we still need many more photos.
We are asking those who have/had a relative who was a Far East prisoner of war, of any nationality, to please contribute a photo of them together with brief details of their service. Although photos of service personnel taken in uniform are preferred, this is not essential - we understand that some families have very few photos of their FEPOW relatives so any photo will suffice. If anyone wishes to contribute a photo of a FEPOW who was not a family member, we ask that you ensure you have the permission of the family of the person concerned to do so. We also need to point out that the completed collage may be made public.
The brief stories that accompany many of the photos already submitted underline the need to ensure that those who endured Far East captivity continue to be remembered. They are stories that make heartbreaking reading in many cases – so many lives lost at a tragically young age and in the most horrendous circumstances. Whilst stories of those who survived tell of lives forever scarred, and many cut short, and of those unable to put their experiences behind them.
If you would like your FEPOW relative to be a part of this tribute, please either join the VJ Day FEPOW’s Gallery group on Facebook and then post a photo of them together with brief details about them or, alternatively, send their photo and details to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .